Thursday, May 31, 2007

Jack Kevorkian AKA/ Dr Death To Be Released June 1, 2007

June 1st 2007, Euthanasia advocate Jack Kevorkian known as "Dr. Death" will be paroled from from prison after serving eight years of a 10-25 year sendtence in Michigan, USA. Kevorkian aka/ “Dr. Death” was convicted of second-degree murder charges for the assisted suicide of Thomas Youk. Although Kevorkian had admittedly been involved in over 130 suicides prior to Youk’s, this was his first conviction. He is 79 years old now.

From, the following best descibes his legacy:

"Jack Kevorkian is a former medical pathologist known for his high-profile antics in support of voluntary euthanasia. A 1952 graduate of the University of Michigan medical school, Kevorkian soon became known to colleagues as "Dr. Death" for his keen interest in dying patients. His first brush with professional controversy came in 1958, when he lost his job for suggesting that medical experiments be performed on consenting death row inmates in lieu of execution. After a career in various hospitals in California and Michigan, he settled in Michigan in 1982, where he earned a living in part by publishing articles on euthanasia in European medical journals. He became famous in the 1990s for his "death machine," a device he invented that allowed a user to self-inject an anesthetic and then a lethal dose of potassium chloride. (He called the machine a thanatron, after Thanatos, the figure of death in Greek mythology.) His initial "assisted suicides" led to a 1993 Michigan law that specifically prohibited him from continuing, a law he openly defied in an effort to force the issue into the courts.

For most of the 1990s Kevorkian -- now widely known as "Dr. Death" -- was on TV talk shows, in the news and in and out of court (and jail) for his role in a number of deaths. In September of 1998 he videotaped the death of Thomas Youk; the tape was broadcast by CBS television's 60 Minutes in November, and Kevorkian ended up on trial again, charged with murder and the delivery of a controlled substance. (Having lost his licenses to practice medicine in California and Michigan, Kevorkian's use of potassium chloride was illegal.) He was convicted in April of 1999 and sentenced to 10-25 years in prison. Denied parole in 2005, Kevorkian, in failing health, was granted parole at the end of 2006 and scheduled for release in 2007. Supporters argue that -- idiosyncrasies aside -- Kevorkian is a hero who helped more than 130 terminally ill people end their own lives with dignity. Critics say he is a weirdo who exploited sick and disabled people for his own morbid experiments. Either way, he gets credit for bringing the issue forward into public debate.

Kevorkian moved to Los Angeles in the late 1970s and reportedly made a feature film (based on Handel's Messiah), but the film was never distributed and the details are sketchy at best... Kevorkian is of Armenian descent... Kevorkian used to advertise himself as a "death consultant," and he dubbed his field "obitiatry"... He says he first got the nickname "Dr. Death" in 1956, for his research in photographing the eyes of dying patients... Kevorkian used carbon monoxide gas when he was unable to procure potassium chloride... Many of Kevorkian's clients passed away in his 1968 Volkswagen bus, which he had rigged for his equipment. (source)

To read about Kevorkian, here are some very interesting Links:

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